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Archive for November, 2014

JadeEast

The desk and the almost empty bottle of Jade East cologne have been with me since I lived with my parents and brother Bill at 2016 S. Whittier. I also have  a bedroom chest of drawers that has been mine since about 1962, a ceramic cookie jar — for real cookies; not ceramic cookies —  and some plain, large white cotton towels for drying dishes I remember from earliest youth at least since 1955 when I was about eight years old and began helping with kitchen chores. The Jade East is on a shelf in my home office where I see it every day. For decades it was almost forgotten, unseen, usually in the bottom drawer of the same chest of drawers that has accompanied me since I first moved away from 2016 in about 1968.

Today the Jade East is with me like memories of first dates, sock hops at Benjamin Franklin Junior High and driving lessons, I know I wore it when Joyce Mitchell and I attended my senior prom in May,  1965. Sometimes I take the cap off and put the bottle close to my nose to inhale the scent. As I grew older, I “graduated” to other colognes: Brut, English Leather. A minor “event” in my life was a Christmas when, after hearing and reading so much about English Leather,  before buying a bottle for me, I bought a  bottle for my father and gave it to him — gift wrapped of course — on the big morning and he liked it. I was delighted and proud watching his reaction. He was a tough occasion, especially after puberty “blossomed” me into a conniving malcontent.  Before buying English ‘ for myself, I often “borrowed”  some of his from the top of the tall chest of drawers he shared with mom. He had the upper three drawers, and mom had the lower three.

Dad was always an Old Spice aftershave man, but I never took to it. Betwen Saturday night splaches of English and later, Jade East, I was strictly Aqua Velva. “There’s something about an Aqua Velva man.” the TV commercials claimed.  When dad died in 1994, he had a partly consumed bottle of Old Spice in his bathroom medicine cabinet. That bottle now graces my bathroom’s medicine cabinet, occasionally opened and sniffed, but never “worn.”

As my teen years continued, cologne was a “wear it every day” part of my life for the longest time, even through college my early 30s. One girlfriend along the way LOOOOOOOVED Canoe (cologne) so for about one bottle, about the duration of our relationship, I wore Canoe.  There was one cologne —  maybe English Leather — that had s smiling, sultry temptress looking right into the camera and saying “All of my men wear ______ or they wear nothing at all.” Cologne was an essential when sharing soft companionship through my 40s, but since then, solo or duo — solo for the last 10 years or so —  it’s been generic drugstore aftershave.

I’m okay with that. I’ve noticed in recent years that the green bottles of Brut are the only “cologne” I see on grocery store shelves, which is where I shop for fragrance enhancements. All the rest are Skin Bracers and after shaves.  I used to shop for cologne at department stores and high-end drug stores. I know they’re still around, but I can’t remember the last time I entered a “department store.” . . . wait a second . . . . YES I can. J.C. Penney is my department store of record. I buy most of my clothes there.  I don’t know if they carry mens’ cologne. I should browse more on my next visit. Who knows? In my current lingering coda to this dimension, a little “mad money” dropped on fragrance enhancements” night be fun.

Maybe they have Jade East.

—- Live long . . . . . .  and proper.

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